How to Love Radically in the Era of Trump

6 Feb

radical-loveI have been struggling, along with 2/3 of the nation, since November. I have been fearful, hurt, and worried for ALL targeted communities. For those who insultingly made this about “Hillary lost, get over it,” you missed the point, quite sadly. This was about resisting a fascist regime, which we are now under, as evidenced by the over 20 Executive Orders delivered by Trump — as evidenced by the myriad lies spread by Trump and his team (please don’t make up attacks, Kellyanne).  This was about supporting a billionaire bully who makes fun of people with disabilities  and says it is acceptable to grab women by their genitals.

And so I struggle. I struggle with how to be loving to Trump supporters, some of whom are family members — family members who have decidedly voted against me, my family, my friends, and the earth. Yet I must maintain that we have to stay in community; we have to operate from our hearts first; we have to make space for those who are hurting us. I STRUGGLE!

I struggle every day to make this space for people who are deliberately oppressing so many. It is hard to love someone when they are punching you or shooting at you or sustaining systems of oppression. Moreover, I don’t want to become like those who are oppressing us! I think our individual and collective ability to RESIST with every fiber of our being and simultaneously love and make space for Trump supporters is Radical Love. I would love to take credit for this, but at least two of my friends for over 30 years, Jen, and DeShawn helped me here.

I feel obligated to share some survival tips and invite you to share how you are surviving a world gone mad.

  1. Take a break from news and social media.
  2. If you are able to, binge watch some tv that brings you joy. Here, I would strongly recommend the Netflix remake of One Day At A Time. My friend Gita recommended this to me, and Robert and I are loving it! It has a Latina cast and addresses social issues and is FUN! Rita Moreno is in it along with Justina Machado, and I think I am in love with Isabella Gómez. 
  3. With intentionality, seek out friends, family, and family of choice who feed your soul.

Finally, join me in a commitment to Radical Love! I commit to being in and operating from a place of love, while I know there are days I will fail at this. When I fail at this, I will not shame myself. I will continue to work towards building community, solidarity, and find ways to both resist this current fascist regime and love those who are engaged in supporting a world of fear, hate, and oppression. If this sounds or feels contradictory to you, all I can say is: I’m able to hold a lot of tension around being messy — this work we do towards social justice/transformative justice is MESSY! We don’t do this work in isolation and we will not complete it, but we must be engaged!

I invite you to share how you are navigating currently. What is working and what is not working?

Standing in love and solidarity,

Michael

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36 Responses to “How to Love Radically in the Era of Trump”

  1. Judy Smith February 6, 2017 at 6:00 am #

    Had to break the adrenalin cycle, so I’m off Facebook for at least the month of February and maybe for good. My psyche is recovering and I’m deep into a writing project. Can’t eat, sleep, and breathe angst nonstop, so the self-care breaks are crucial. Thank you, Michael, this is a good piece.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 6, 2017 at 6:06 am #

      Thank you, Judy! Yes, taking time away to write and a break from social media sounds like sage advice for self-care! In peace and in solidarity, Michael.

  2. BRENT BLACKMON February 6, 2017 at 6:43 am #

    Thank you, Michael. We need you to lead us. We need you to lead us in love, not hate; we need you to lead us in hope, not despair; we need you to lead us in healing, not hurting. I am buoyed today by your message: “I don’t want to become like those who are oppressing us!” Your healing is infectious – it is helping us all heal. That doesn’t diminish the work we have to do – it gives us strength for the task.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 6, 2017 at 6:48 am #

      Brent, thank you for your kindness. I fear I fail more often than I succeed. I take solace knowing we are in this together and that we stand united with our hearts and our shared humanity. In peace and solidarity, Michael.

  3. evelyneholingue February 6, 2017 at 6:50 am #

    Share your feelings here, Michael. Staying away from social media is also something I’ve been doing. Reading less but more in depth articles and blog posts.
    And also seeing the positive slowly overpowering the negative. Take the stand from the Seattle federal judge against banning some people who own a visa or/and a greencard to enter the US, based on their country of birth, now going to the Ninth Circle and I’m sure to the Supreme Court.
    Trusting our system, which still works despite the bullies. With all the flaws we complain about our country remains a democracy with three branches of power. When they do their job (we are witnessing this now) they bring back justice. We must remain in alert because I have little doubt that D. Trump will stop after the ban is lifted. What will come next?
    But I want to believe that between the people’s voice and the three branches of our government good will ultimately prevail.
    It’s a struggle but nothing has ever been achieved without struggle.
    Changing some people’s mentality is slow and painful but change happens. I want to believe that we are on the way to witness this change. It’s just hard to reach. In the end we will be a better country when we will have been tested.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 6, 2017 at 6:55 am #

      Evelyne, your voice is consistently uplifting and positive. I reflect upon the great power of your voice and of our collective voices that will make change and pay it forward.In peace and solidarity, Michael.

      • evelyneholingue February 6, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

        And your comment has the same effect, Michael. More people want good than bad. We will get there. Watching the number of people currently opposing every single decision taken by our new government is inspiring. Peace to you as well.

  4. Dr. Rex February 6, 2017 at 7:21 am #

    Love this post because it totally explains how I feel … I’m so angry!! We also have family members who voted against us. I can’t get past that feeling … seems I’m actually enjoying the anger. I think that because I feel anguish about everything, It does go away momentarily but then hits me like a ton of bricks. Every time I ‘go away’ from it all, it’s right there again. I don’t feel forgiving. I think you are so much better than I am …
    I fear for us, for MJ and me. I fear for this country … I’m still on fight/flight mode … I’m on the flight mode …

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 6, 2017 at 7:27 am #

      Dr. Rex, thank you for your voice here!!! We need to hear your voice, for it is real–it is authentic! Of course, you don’t feel like forgiving–I too often don’t want to. I have to try and love because other wise I feel like my anger and real feelings of betrayal end up poisoning me and not the people oppressing us. So much love to you and MJ!

      • Dr. Rex February 6, 2017 at 7:33 am #

        Thank you, Michael .. very much needed words. You are definitely ahead of me here!! I really, right now, want to crawl under a rock and not come out.
        I’m trying though … I was uplifted my the Women’s March and participated in our local one.
        A dear friend is trying to motivate me. She herself was in the same spot I am. She went to Washington on the 21st and came back a changed woman …
        I have joined a local group, 1st meeting this coming Saturday … maybe that will help me.
        We need to feel the love and focus on the small wins versus the big losses.
        Yet, my heart aches … can’t stand the sight of the man. Those around him are awful human beings … or seem to be so.
        The other politicians are quiet. To me that means they are selfishly benefiting from Drumpf’s actions. The Dems are outnumbered and seem to quiet and helpless …. sad! Very sad, for me … 😦

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 6, 2017 at 7:36 am #

        My hope is that you and so many of our queer siblings and all of our POC siblings can stand united and in solidarity and find strength, comfort, and love from one another. Your blog, your voice, and your being provides so much love and strength!!

      • Dr. Rex February 6, 2017 at 7:39 am #

        I believe that is the only way. What does POC mean?
        I’ve noticed that my blog used to be so much more positive before. I looked for cute, inspiring messages, videos, quotes, etc.
        Now it covers too much about him. Yet, I can’t disconnect bc I feel people need to know. Most of all, I feel I need to know to keep updated and to know what is coming and to be prepared.
        We have considered many options. We have plans A,B,C … we need to be ready! __/l\__

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 6, 2017 at 7:45 am #

        POC means people of color. 🙂 Keep writing!!!!!

      • Dr. Rex February 6, 2017 at 7:45 am #

        Thanks!! Hugs …

  5. Dr. Rex February 6, 2017 at 7:22 am #

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Yearning for the moment when I can love radically!!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 6, 2017 at 7:28 am #

      Thank you for reblogging this, Dr. Rex! I so wish you lived next door and not so far away! In love, peace, and in solidarity!

      • Dr. Rex February 6, 2017 at 7:34 am #

        You’re most welcome … I have the same wish … I need people like you around me, to help me get up, to be in solidarity …. TY, Michael … hugs!!

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 6, 2017 at 7:36 am #

        So much love to you!

      • Dr. Rex February 6, 2017 at 7:39 am #

        Same to you and yours!! ❤ ..

  6. Central Oregon Coast NOW February 6, 2017 at 8:15 am #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

  7. bevanyardleigh February 6, 2017 at 8:17 am #

    Some days Radical Love is the only love that matters. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.
    BTW, I truly enjoyed “One Day At A Time” – great recommendation!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 6, 2017 at 8:20 am #

      Bevan, thank you for being such a fierce ally!!! I’m so glad you are enjoying the reboot of One Day At A Time. In peace and solidarity, Michael.

  8. Gronda Morin February 6, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

    Dear Michael Hulshof-Schmidt,

    I went to that Women’s March on my own on 1/21/17 in Washington DC. It was so awesome to be with so many Women and supportive Men who were on the same page as me.I hooked up with a great group at a metro stop who knew their way around the Washington DC area.

    The crowds were unbelievable. But everyone was so decent and supportive and helpful. This little old lady had to climb over hills, walls to get to a perch where I could observe all the goings-on, speakers, etc. I couldn’t have done this without lots of assistance.

    I’ve never seen so many pink pussycat ear hats in my life stretched out over blocks. I got to listen to great speakers like Michael Moore.He gave us our to-do list. We all knew that we were sending a message to DT, that he could not miss. A professional protester who was standing next to me said that she was at the inauguration the day before, and that the Women’s March had a much greater attendance number, by far than the president’s Inauguration.

    After 2-3 hours, I walked away to help a fellow protester with a bad leg find one of the porto-potties. Again, we had to maneuver through jam packed crowds, climb hills and walls, go around barricades to get to the Mall, itself which had rows upon rows of porto-potties, beyond what the eye could see. But along the way, we got to converse with lots of like minded folks which was so encouraging. We were lifting up each other’s spirits. My new found friend was so exhausted, that I helped her reach a metro station where she could return home.

    Everyone was from somewhere, but for some reason they decided that they had to attend this event. For awhile, I watched a march on the perimeter of all the crowds.Then I joined a group for dinner.

    What a day. It showed me that I am not alone in my feelings and it gave me encouragement to be an active part of this resistance. I will not give in or give up!

    Today, there is a call out for peoples in Washington DC to gather for a protest re Betsy DeVos.I am wishing that I was there.

    After a couple more days in Washington DC, I traveled to Chicago which was so cold that I was thrilled to return to Florida just this past weekend. Now, I plan to join local organizations as per Mr. Moore’s orders.

    So, take heart folks, you are not alone.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 6, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

      Hi Gronda, Indeed, you are not alone! It sounds like the Women’s March fed your soul, as I know it fed mine. 🙂 I’m so glad you are joining more local organizations of resistance, as this allows you and all of us to be in community with each other and mitigates our feels if isolation. You are such a lovely gift to the earth. Peace, Michael.

  9. Terry Lewis February 7, 2017 at 6:59 pm #

    Hi Michael, I applaud your insistence on radical love. Unfortunately some people have allowed their anger and concern to turn them ugly. Ugly is ugly no matter whose side you are on, and it does no-one any good. Anger is fine and necessary, but when it consumes us it demeans us. Fight as hard as you can, yes, and be as vocal as possible, and be as rational, reasoned and in control as possible. I see Barack Obama’s calm persistence with right behaviour as a role model.
    Love actually helps us also to see good, however reluctant we may be to see it. I see people on both sides of the political fence so quick to swallow the latest headlines, and so ready to believe the worst of the opposing side. Not that I am holding out any great hope for a better Trump, but love surely helps us in our quest for the truth and not just whatever fits our preconceived ideas. If we oppose Trump, let’s make sure we are armed with facts, and not just fly off the handle at the latest revelation. Truth is always more solid than mere emotion.
    I hope you are able to still love those family members who voted for Trump (and I hope they are still able to love you), and I hope you are able to have productive conversations with them, even if they don’t agree.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 7, 2017 at 7:08 pm #

      Terry, thank you for your comments here. I totally understand the “ugly,” especially for those communities who are impacted disproportionately by Trump, and yes, I hope that love can find a way of transforming the hate that is the current discourse. Peace, Michael.

  10. Shawn Morgan February 8, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    Michael,

    Thanks so much for your poignant view on such dark times that we face. I’ve struggled both mentally and physically since this election. I don’t eat or sleep. I found myself fixated on fighting it out on social media. I have now discovered it does me no good and it’s not making the change I want.

    My entire family voted for him and are proud of it. That really stings. I had to make myself go home for the holidays with my husband and that was no easy feat. I set boundaries and I limited my time with them. I say “them” because it has turned into just that – “us against them”.

    Therapy and medication is helping me redirect my anger and fear. I am to use radial love to make a positive impact with those I can. For those who have turned their backs on my, I can only move on. At almost 50, I refuse to coddle people and that includes my family.

    I applaud your blog and how you are worried about “all communities at risk”. We cannot become divided. I may not need Planned Parenthood services but I will stand up for those who may not have a voice. I refuse to sit idly by.

    “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 8, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

      Shawn,

      Thank you so very much for sharing this part of your narrative. It is critical that people hear your pain and how you are being impacted, as so many of who are gay/queer, women, people of color, Muslims, and all the intersecting identities are being impacted. I am so honored and so grateful that you shared your narrative here. Resist and Love! In love and in solidarity, Michael.

    • Shawn Morgan February 8, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

      My apologies –
      *radial – radical
      *back on my – back on me

      I typed this on my phone!

  11. Madeline L Knox February 15, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

    Radical love for me has been giving grace to myself and other when we are not perfect, and finding safe places to express myself have been essential, keeping it all bottled up can make you feel lonely and crazy. I also really like this news site called Sunnyskyz which posts news stories that are a reminder of the love compassion and kindness(dare I say radical love)that is left in the world! Love you Mr. Schmidt forever and always!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 16, 2017 at 6:21 am #

      Madeline, Thank you for sharing your comments. I love how you talk about “Giving grace to yourself,” for I think that is so critical to then allowing grace for others. Thank you for sharing Sunnyskyz. Mostly, thank you for being you! Madeline, you are such a great gift to the earth and to me. I hope you come and visit me this summer. All my love, Mr. Schmidt.

  12. Lynn Blake February 17, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

    Just a note to weigh in on my coping stratedgy. I joined a “yuge” group online, became part of an local chapter’s action arm and it’s Social Issue Book Club and have written and called State and Federal Congress people. They are my biggest frustration, I live in Texas, need I say more?
    I visited my Granddaughters for their 3rd birthday and saw them successfully tackle skiing and watched no news for a week.
    The Chavetz town hall took place 1/2 mile up the hill from my son’s home. There were cars parked for a mile down streets. I doubt anyone got paid to go. Did he hear, nope! not a word.
    Actually I’m energized. I haven’t been this fired up since Vietnam and the Cambodia bombings. I have to believe that if we keep on resisting we can defeat this fascist. BTW Ted Cruz and Stephen Miller are “two peas in a pod” and dangerously fixated on their belief system.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

      Lynn, thank you for sharing some of your coping strategies, as I think it is important for all of us to share what is working to fuel us and sustain us. I will have to check out yuge. I am not having great success in calling Federal congress people, as they seem to have turned off phones and I have not even been able to leave a message. Yes, living in Texas is quite frustrating. I’m so grateful to live in Oregon. Keep up the energy. Peace, Michael.

  13. Jersema March 16, 2017 at 6:34 pm #

    Husband is listening to Pacifica radio and making derogatory comments about Dump as he calls the president. The whole thing is so disturbing to me I’d rather read the blogs of my friends. Thanks for encouraging an alternate reality!

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